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Old 11-05-2018, 12:53 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
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Working on the bus at -5 degrees

I keep breaking drill bits and the plastic stand for my work light stand shattered in the cold (the days are getting short). I'm a little worried about leaving bare metal exposed where I cut, but paint won't dry right in this weather.

I mounted a storage box underneath and 5 propane tanks. Next up, installing heat, both propane and auxiliary engine heaters. I also have two more storage boxes to mount.

My limit for working outside is probably -10. Not sure how well the propane heat will work for inside jobs lower than that.
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Old 11-05-2018, 12:58 PM   #2
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Bare metal can be coated with petroleum jelly at cut surfaces until temperature is good for painting (assuming use of a solvent to clean the part before coating).
It's not a long term solution, but it will keep the metal from rusting.
Don't use it on the floors unless you like falling on your butt. Lol
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Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
I keep breaking drill bits and the plastic stand for my work light stand shattered in the cold (the days are getting short). I'm a little worried about leaving bare metal exposed where I cut, but paint won't dry right in this weather.

I mounted a storage box underneath and 5 propane tanks. Next up, installing heat, both propane and auxiliary engine heaters. I also have two more storage boxes to mount.

My limit for working outside is probably -10. Not sure how well the propane heat will work for inside jobs lower than that.
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:31 PM   #3
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My patience snaps more often than my drill bits do. Getting up is the worst. The metal floor is covered in pools of condensation, and my mustache is dripping like a sponge.

You have my respect. It's colder where you are.
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:36 PM   #4
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If you are breaking drill bits you are pushing too hard. Use lubricant made for the job of drilling and sharp bits. let your bits cool some after drilling.


Propane inside will make lots of condensation which will freeze and get into your dash electronics etc, they might be ok but look for issues after you are finished working in the spring.



Better too work short shifts in the cold rather than try to warm it with propane. Wood heat might be better as it is drier, if only in a temporary situation.



I wouldn't think the cold would bother you living up there.


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Old 11-05-2018, 02:44 PM   #5
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I've been able to stay warm while working just fine - my fingers get cold if I have to take my gloves off, but that's it.

The bigger issue is all the snow on the ground. We don't have much yet, but it'll be a problem before long. Things disappear if you drop them or get covered up easily. Anything warm melts it, which then refreezes making a thin sheet of ice coated in dirt if you've scaped down that far.
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
I've been able to stay warm while working just fine - my fingers get cold if I have to take my gloves off, but that's it.

The bigger issue is all the snow on the ground. We don't have much yet, but it'll be a problem before long. Things disappear if you drop them or get covered up easily. Anything warm melts it, which then refreezes making a thin sheet of ice coated in dirt if you've scaped down that far.



Lay a tarp down where you are standing to catch things that you may drop.


Hands here too get the coldest first but just persevere and keep them as warm as you can. If I sweat I'm done like dinner and it is time to go for a shower and dry clothes again.


I feel your pain, did it most of my life and still am.


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Old 11-05-2018, 03:04 PM   #7
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I think the key is to just be more deliberate about everything.
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:16 PM   #8
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One day you will look back at your accomplishments and wonder how you ever pulled them off. You want that bus done come hell or high water and not sure i would attempt that in your part of the world.



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Old 11-06-2018, 11:25 AM   #9
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Projects this winter:
1. Hook up my propane tanks to appliances. I have 3x 20lb tanks and 1x 100lb tank hung underneath the bus. I'm hooking up an oven, generator, water heater, and furnace. And, capped-off expansion ports for a fridge and second generator. I'm using Home Flex stainless steel tubing.
2. Hook up my auxiliary bus heaters. I have 3x 40k BTU Summit Racing Auxiliary heaters and 1x 28k BTU heater. The previous owner of this bus cut all the coolant lines as far back as he could reach, so I need to do some disassembly to reconnect.
3. Hang two more underbody storage boxes. The bus came with a 48x18x18 box and I hung another 18x18x36 box already. I have another 18x18x36 box and an 18x18x24 box on order.
4. Install clamps for tools (shovel, pick, ax, tanker's bar, cheater pipe, breaker bar)
5. Install electrical wiring - I have the circuit breakers already, and I'm moving the batteries into an under-bus storage box. The generator isn't getting put in the bus until spring though.

In the spring, I plan on skinning over about half my windows, installing the plumbing, putting in the generator, installing new roof hatches, and replacing the door. Once I do all that, I'm ready to insulate and finish the interior. I'll also be ready to paint the exterior.

My main challenge isn't the cold - it's work. I've been gone 7 of the last 11 weeks and work 60-75 hours per week when I'm here. I'll be gone at least 8 more weeks this winter too. Slow progress is better than no progress.
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Old 11-21-2018, 06:49 PM   #10
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Cold does not break drill bits!



The one thing I see in videos very often is the operator 'wobbling' the drill motor. I don't know what they expect to accomplish. Drills cut on the end. Wobbling the drill does nothing but put strain on the drill bit. If you need a larger hole use a bigger drill bit. Wobbling the drill will not make a larger hole but will strain the drill bit and often break it.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:49 AM   #11
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If you wobble the drill, you get a nice hourglass oval (bigger top and bottom, and oval-shaped as you look down at it).

The weathet has been pretty decent so far, ranging from 5 to 20 the days I've been working.
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Old 11-22-2018, 08:01 AM   #12
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Propane tanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
Projects this winter:
1. Hook up my propane tanks to appliances. I have 3x 20lb tanks and 1x 100lb tank hung underneath the bus. I'm hooking up an oven, generator, water heater, and furnace. And, capped-off expansion ports for a fridge and second generator. I'm using Home Flex stainless steel tubing.
2. Hook up my auxiliary bus heaters. I have 3x 40k BTU Summit Racing Auxiliary heaters and 1x 28k BTU heater. The previous owner of this bus cut all the coolant lines as far back as he could reach, so I need to do some disassembly to reconnect.
3. Hang two more underbody storage boxes. The bus came with a 48x18x18 box and I hung another 18x18x36 box already. I have another 18x18x36 box and an 18x18x24 box on order.
4. Install clamps for tools (shovel, pick, ax, tanker's bar, cheater pipe, breaker bar)
5. Install electrical wiring - I have the circuit breakers already, and I'm moving the batteries into an under-bus storage box. The generator isn't getting put in the bus until spring though.

In the spring, I plan on skinning over about half my windows, installing the plumbing, putting in the generator, installing new roof hatches, and replacing the door. Once I do all that, I'm ready to insulate and finish the interior. I'll also be ready to paint the exterior.

My main challenge isn't the cold - it's work. I've been gone 7 of the last 11 weeks and work 60-75 hours per week when I'm here. I'll be gone at least 8 more weeks this winter too. Slow progress is better than no progress.
Please research the rules for mounting propane tanks. I don't know them but the DoT can be buttheads.
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Old 11-22-2018, 08:05 AM   #13
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When drilling holes into questionable places, I have had very good success by setting drill to the lowest clutch setting that will still turn the bit. If the bit catches it will slip before the bit breaks. It even works with an 8 inch long 1/8th inch bit. You can then slowly increase the clutch setting and carefully finish the hole.Many times you don't even need to increase the clutch setting. I also use this method for large bits. I have a very bad wrist and if a large bit catches it's very painful.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtdillon1960 View Post
Please research the rules for mounting propane tanks. I don't know them but the DoT can be buttheads.
I've read up on it and didn't find much:
1. Use an approved tank with appropriate valves etc.
2. Transport horizontally or vertically as designed.
3. Ensure adequate ventilation
4. Do not fill tanks if older than inspection limit

Placards are not required unless you have an excssive amount of propane.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhereinusa View Post
When drilling holes into questionable places, I have had very good success by setting drill to the lowest clutch setting that will still turn the bit. If the bit catches it will slip before the bit breaks. It even works with an 8 inch long 1/8th inch bit. You can then slowly increase the clutch setting and carefully finish the hole.Many times you don't even need to increase the clutch setting. I also use this method for large bits. I have a very bad wrist and if a large bit catches it's very painful.
That's exactly the reason I've broken some bits - it catchses and snaps it off. I've gotten a lot better and am now almost done drilling into the hardened steel frame under the bus.
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Old 11-22-2018, 04:20 PM   #16
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Sounds like you are getting the hang of it.



"reeming" as that is known can go two ways. Good and not good.



Especially bigger bits in big drills with minor user experience.

When they catch, you will either sprain or break something usually arm related.
Lots of times shins when trying to hold the work you are reeming. Takes a long time to heal and sore so be careful.

Sometimes we just have no choice but to clean out holes like that with drills. A useful skill to remember.



The smaller diameter the bit is the hotter it gets and then they can lose shape fast if you aren't watching and then grab so reem carefully .


Below -5 you can do a lot of planning and thinking. It takes every spare minute to complete these buses once you start.



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Old 11-30-2018, 04:46 PM   #17
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@Biscuitsjam. Im in North Pole as well converting a city bus. Ive been using a diesel fired space heater that works well, too well actually. I have to turn it off to keep the heat down. Just installed a medium size toyo. Ill be plumming it up this weekend. Ill let you know how it does.
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Old 11-30-2018, 04:54 PM   #18
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Good to know. There's at least three of us in North Pole then.

I've been 3 hours away from finishing my propane setup for 2 weeks now and haven't had the time. I'm also going to hang a couple storage boxes underneath. I want to get electrical and plumbing too this winter, but I'm afraid I'll run out of time.
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Old 12-15-2018, 10:24 PM   #19
Bus Nut
 
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I had a difficult time starting it at -10 today. I plugged the bus in for about 5 hours and then jumpstarted it off my pickup because I didn't have enough battery voltage.

My biggest challenge has been my fingers - I keep taking my gloves off and touching cold metal. Back to work though ...
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Old 12-16-2018, 07:01 PM   #20
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I can relate to this thread. We've got some ambitious goals for winter, similar to yours - electrics/propane/plumbing. It does give you a good incentive to make sure the bus is water tight though...

We had the same problem with bare metal. I tried to get a coat of primer on the new skin after our roof raise, it didn't work in -5. I ended up going with a spray primer instead, it actually worked pretty good. We may end up re-doing it come Spring, but at least it's something and hopefully it should hold off any rust until we can properly paint in better weather.
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